Printable Version
Pronunciation: ê-jay-sênt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Adjoining, next to and touching, contiguous, sharing a boundary. 2. Close by, lying near, nearby. 3. (Mathematics) Sharing a vertex and one side (two angles).

Notes: This word may be used as a noun with a fourth meaning: "Anything related, an adjunct or subsidiary", as "The adjacents of peace are worth fighting for." Otherwise, the noun is adjacency and the adverb, adjacently, as, "The river flowed adjacently by the church grounds."

In Play: In the first sense, "contiguous", we might hear things like this: "Rodney kept buying properties adjacent to his until he pretty much owned the whole town." The second sense is around in expressions like this: "In school, Rodney always located himself adjacent to the smartest student in the class."

Word History: English simply traced today's Good Word from the French word in one of its centuries-long raids on that language. French inherited the word from Latin adiacen(t)s "bordering on, lying near", the present participle of adiacere "to border on, adjoin, lie near". The Latin I was pronounced [y] before vowels (in Late Latin it became J). This word comprises ad "(up) to" + iacere "to throw, do, make", inherited from PIE iek-/iok- "to throw, do, make", source also of Hittite ijami "I make", and Greek iemi "to throw, send" and iapto "I shoot, send, rush". Apparently, the PIE word didn't make it past the ancient languages, except for the derivations of Latin iacere that we see in the English Latinate borrowings, like abject, reject, inject, etc. (Now let's thank Great-Grand panjandrum Jeremy Busch, editor of the GWs and volunteer manager of the Agora for today's fundamental Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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